Good result for stem cell treatment for MS


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that gradually damages the nervous system. We currently have no medication that cures the disorder, but over the last few years there is some drug that slows down the rate of disease.

In addition, there is much hope associated with stem cell treatment (HSCT).

The purpose of this treatment is simply to restart the immune system. Doctors extract stem cells from the body of the patient, then use chemotherapy to break the immune system. Afterwards, stem cells are transplanted again and can develop a new, healthier immune system.

Experimental stem cell treatment has improved results, but some studies have been performed and we have a very short and long-term knowledge of the effect.

In 2017, a study showed that the disease stopped for at least five years in half of patients who received stem cell treatment. And now comes the results of yet another study.

Here, the researchers compared patients who have received a brake treatment of patients who received stem cell transplantation. It turned out that stem cell treatment was much better.

Got better

At the new study, Richard Northwest University campus and a number of countries, 110 Ms active disease patients were unable to treat brake medication. The participants were divided into two groups, one of which received another brake and the other a stem cell transplant.

After just one year, only three stem cell groups have been strengthened, and 34 new brake medication patients experienced. On the average, the stem cell group is actually better, and the other is getting worse.

Researchers also found a similar difference after five years. In addition, other targets indicated that stem cell treatment was higher.

Participants who received transplantation have fewer episodes of symptom deterioration, fewer scars after inflammation of the brain and better quality of life. A larger proportion is also without any signs of disease activity.


Collars and collars provide a strong indication that stem cell transplantation can be an effective treatment for some patients with MS, writes Harold Atkins in a commentary in the research journal Jama. Atkins herself was research Ms., but was not involved in the study.

However, like Burt himself, he noted that the study had some weaknesses.

One problem is that the patients in the study do not have access to the most effective brake medications that were not approved by the study or entered the market when it started. Thus, it may be conceived that the difference between transplantation and drug was less with today's selection of drugs.

And it is important, not least, since stem cell transplantation can be dangerous. Some become very ill during treatment and deaths have occurred in stem cell treatment of other autoimmune diseases.

If one is to take the risk of such an intervention, it is important that these benefits upset the disadvantages compared to safer alternatives.

Stem cell therapy itself should play a role

It is also important to note that the participants in the study are a special group of patients. They all have a very aggressive disease that did not respond to brake medication. The conclusions of this group cannot be transferred to patients with Milder disease.

Many questions remain, Atkins says:

How many brake medications should be used before the decision to start stem cell transplantation? Should such treatment also be offered to patients with mild illness? And when in the course of the disease is stem cell treatment most effective?

All in all though and still, he still believes that stem cell treatment can be an important proposition.

The results support that stem cell treatment plays a role in centers that treat patients with very active Ms. He writes in the comment.


R. K. Burt, Effect of Nonmyeloablative Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation vs. Continuous Disease-Modifying Therapy on Disease Progression in Patient With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, A Randomized Clinical Trial, JAMA, January 2019. Summary.

H. Atkins, stem cell transplant, carry more than one sclerosis, Jama, January 2019.

Source link